Urine culture is a test in which we investigate cause of urinary tract infection.
1. Sample collection: have a sterile container ready from any chemists shop. Clean the genital area with soap and water. Dry with a clean towel. Discard first few drops of urine. Collect the remaining urine in sterile container. Without touching or contaminating the sample. This is known as clean catch midstream urine collection for urine culture.
2. Processing in lab: in short to tell you a specific quantity of urine usually 0.01ml will be aseptically spread over a agar plate. If bacteria are present they will grow from urine on the plate. These bacteria will be identified either by automated machines or manually by putting biochemicals. Once the bacteria is identified microbiologist will decide whether to report or not. Then antibiotic susceptibility will be put. This can be by automated machines or manually. The whole process will take at least two to three days.
3. Result and interpretation: the report will say that this bacteria in significant numbers is isolated in urine. E. Coli is the commonest organism. If the bacteria is more than one lac in one ml then the number is significant and one needs to take antibiotic. In the report antibiotics which have sensitive written against them will kill the bacteria and the ones which have resistant against them cannot be used to treat the infection.